January is a month of lists: resolutions, top movies, best books, funniest memes…you name it, someone’s listed it. And expects you to read it. You know, while you’re digging out your inbox, and dealing with rising case counts, and having your kids at home again, and…and…and…

And here’s another list in your inbox (lol sob)

The goal of this feature has always been to reduce the amount of things you need to pay attention to, by picking out a few items we found interesting from a month’s worth of articles, podcasts, and newsletters, and keep you from feeling like you have to drink from the firehose to stay informed.

So – as always – here’s a shorter than normal list of articles you may find interesting or informative.

Unlike last month, our top three pieces are about different topics: one about how daily routines free up your brain to deal with stressful situations, one about how to spot (and avoid) financial news that isn’t actually news, and one on resolving to create an estate plan as a way to show your love for the people you may leave behind.

Up next, if you need just a bit more reading, there’s a piece from our friends at Clever Girl Finance about the cost of indecision, a long-form piece on the benefits of laziness (I’m in!), one surefire trick from Downtown Josh Brown to avoid bear markets, a look back and hopeful view forward of how to persist in the ongoing fight to create a just society from Shree Paradkar, a critique of the new work-from-home tax credit from policy expert John Stapleton, and a surprisingly fun look at what would have happened if you only invested at market peaks.

Take what you want, leave the rest, and don’t stress, friends.

Pandemic-Proof Your Habits

From Kate Murphy

“The truth is that you cannot control what happens in life. But you can create a routine that gives your life a predictable rhythm and secure mooring. This frees your brain to develop perspective so you’re better able to take life’s surprises in stride.”

Read more here.

The Next Year Foretold

From Jonathan Clements

“The markets aren’t predictable—but the talking heads sure are. Like a dog with a favorite fire hydrant, financial commentators return to the same themes again and again. The silver lining: There’s no need to waste hundreds of hours in 2021 reading the business section and watching financial news channels, because we already know what the pundits will be saying next year—and probably the year after that and the year after that.”

Read more here.

New Year’s Resolutions: “creating yourself” and your estate plan in 2021

From Anne McFarlane

“Many of us will make resolutions this week in an effort to “create ourselves”; some to stick to a budget, exercise more, or read more books. These are all great goals, but what about a resolution to take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our wealth through careful, thoughtful estate planning?

This can seem daunting, complicated, and overwhelming. Those of us in the field often forget just how much of a struggle it can be when it’s not your day-to-day life. Below is the list of some ways you can gently ease yourself into creating your estate plan this year:”

Read more here.

January's Top 3 Reads

You can read this month’s entire list below, and browse through past lists here.

How Indecisiveness Affects Your Finances | Marissa Geannette

“There is always a way to recover from a bad financial decision, but if you never make one, you will never know what could be.”

The benefits of laziness: why being a lazy person can be good for you| Anne-Laure Le Cunff

“Laziness is often the other side of the productivity coin. Rather than a sign of inefficiency and unproductivity, it can be the result of smart work freeing up time for well-deserved idleness. Furthermore, it can be the trigger for smart work in and of itself.”

How to avoid bear markets | Josh Brown

“Wake up in twenty years and wonder why your portfolio is running in place. And then cry like a baby. ‘Why was I investing for minimum loss rather than for maximum return? What charlatan convinced me of that?’”

2020: A year that marked a new awakening – and reignited the last century’s battle for civil rights| Shree Paradkar

“We may be on a road many times travelled but I believe we are also at the cusp of real possibility. Backlash is inevitable. So is change. The only way ahead is to keep pushing for it, and with hope.”

New personal tax deduction wrongly favours the well-off | John Stapleton

“The people who need tax breaks of any kind are not the well to do. They are the people at the bottom who are struggling. And those struggling most during the pandemic are low income people and this new deduction is being administered smack dab in the middle.”

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